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“the lobster” movie review

The Lobster

I just learned that today is National Lobster Day, so it’s the perfect day for me to review The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.

A number of readers had asked what I thought of it but they all asked me in a way that made me think it was a really weird movie. (Note: It is.)

So, Michael and I decided to go see it at the Angelika Carmel Mountain because, that way, even if the movie was terrible, we would be happy to be sitting in those comfy leather recliners, enjoying popcorn and Diet Coke. We never regret seeing a movie at the Angelika. (Note #2: The exception to that would be Wiener-Dog, which we just watched the other night, and would still hate even if we saw it at the Angelika. Just thinking about that movie puts me in a bad mood. I’m not reviewing it but let me just give you a heads-up that it’s not the cute little movie the trailer may lead you to believe. If you’re a dog lover, especially, do not see it. Yuck.)

Anyway, The Lobster takes place in a dystopian society in which people aren’t allowed to be single. Those who are on their own are brought to a luxurious but depressing resort where, if you can’t find a partner within 45 days, you are turned into the animal of your choice.

After his wife leaves him, David (Farrell) moves into the hotel with his brother, who’s now a border collie. David decides, if things don’t work out, he will become a lobster because “they’re blue-blooded, they stay fertile and they live over 100 years.” Also, because he loves the sea.

The scenes in the hotel — and the first half of the movie, in general — are terrific, filled with hopeful sad sacks, some of whom fake attributes like being prone to nosebleeds in order to appear compatible to another guest. Management does not believe opposites attract, and it’s up to them to vet the potential match. They also believe that marriage can’t be built on a lie.

Oh, there are so many rules! The Lobster is, in many ways, a scathing commentary on the societal pressures of relationships.

Of course, there’s also a group of Loners who refuse to play by those rules and who live in the forest, where “it’s nice to be on your own.”

Those are the people the guests hunt, earning extra days at the hotel for each one they capture and bring into the available singles pool. It’s got a definite Hunger Games feel, although it doesn’t feel like the odds are in anyone’s favor.

The movie takes a turn when David runs away and falls in love with one of the Loners (Weisz), and it starts to lose some of its footing.

But, overall, The Lobster is thought-provoking and rich with dark humor and occasional horror. And, yes, it’s weird but mostly in a good way.

Check out The Lobster website to see which animal you would be. These are mine:

The Lobster animals

I’m not sure which one I would ultimately choose but I do hope Michael and I have a trip to Antarctica somewhere in our future.

Just not as penguins.


  1. Sounds weird. Sometimes weird is thought provoking.

  2. Sounds very weird. Come back as an animal, huh? Well, no animal is safe, not even humans.

  3. I thought The Lobster was weird in a good way, despite the surprising ending (Mom did not agree). Thanks for the warning about Wiener-Dog, Mom loves dogs and really wanted to see it but we’ve decided to see the other Wiener instead 🙂

  4. Hmmm. I haven’t heard of this movie yet although this sounds a little out there for me. However, your review has peaked my interest so if it comes to Australia I might just see it. I’m having trouble thinking what animal I would become so I’d better make sure I’m not a Loner LOL:)

  5. You have me intrigued. This is not normally a movie I would go see just by reading the preview, but now I wnat to see it.

  6. David and I saw this, too! Weird is an understatement. OMG….I kept saying to David, “How did anyone think this up??” However, your take on the theme is correct. It is a def a commentary on relationships, marriage, and society’s need to control our decisions on what is a good life and what is important.

  7. I was dying to read what you had to say. I wish that Michael and I had broader movie tastes, but i can tell already that he’d say “& we saw this, why?” and that I would hate it. But I have a few friends whose alley it’s right up. Soo…sharing!

  8. Lobster is my favorite food so my interest was piqued. Interesting that his brother is a Border Collie. Not sure if I would like it and end up only think about eating lobster but then think it may be someone. Thanks for the review.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      OMG that made me laugh so hard, Haralee! I LOVE lobster, too, but now that you said that …

  9. Not my kind of movie I’m afraid – I think I’m too lazy to figure my way through the plot. I’ve seen a few reviews and I’m sure my husband will download it one day – but he’ll be watching it by himself!

  10. I had no idea lobsters live one hundred years. Now I may feel guilty eating one. Sounds like kind of a weird movie but the kind of weird I’d like to check out.

  11. Ok. This movie sounds really weird. Right up my alley.

  12. This sounds bizarrely hilarious! I can’t even imagine, lol. Hopefully it comes to netflix so I don’t have to pay for it just in case it disappoints!

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